"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!" - Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) -

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Grab The Bats. Empty The Dug Outs. Everybody’s Heading For The Field. Election 2008 And The Last Inning.
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Interest Groups Step Up Efforts in a Tight RaceNew York Times - United StatesMoveOn, the progressive group started 10 years ago to fight President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, says it will double its advertising budget to $7 million ...See all stories on this topic

WASHINGTON — After largely staying on the sidelines, the types of independent groups that so affected the 2004 presidential campaign are flooding back as players in the final sprint to the election this fall, financing provocative messages on television, in mailboxes and through the Internet.

MoveOn, a progressive group started a decade ago, says it will double its advertising budget to $7 million and start a campaign this week that ties the Republican presidential nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona, to lobbyists.

The Service Employees International Union has begun a $2.1 million advertising campaign that criticizes Mr. McCain’s economic record, while a smattering of smaller liberal groups are testing out more limited television campaigns, including one by two groups — Brave New PAC and Democracy for America — that asserts his experience as a prisoner of war “is not a good prerequisite” to be president.

The Minutemen, a group calling for stricter border security, has filed paperwork with election officials reporting that it is running mailers against Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, the Democratic nominee for president.

An anti-abortion group, BornAliveTruth.org, announced Monday it would begin running an advertisement against Mr. Obama in New Mexico and Ohio that features a woman who survived a botched abortion.

And the American Issues Project, a conservative group whose main backer is a major fund-raiser for Mr. McCain, said it was considering whether to expand its efforts beyond its existing advertisement that links Mr. Obama to the 1960s radical William Ayers Jr.

Hewing to their reformist themes, the McCain and Obama campaigns initially tried to discourage such activities on their behalf. But as the race has intensified in its closing weeks, the campaigns have increasingly turned a blind eye to the activities of these groups, which sometimes operate outside campaign finance rules and with little accountability.

The activities have led aides to both candidates to trade accusations that the other is secretly behind the new attacks by the independent groups. Campaign watchdogs are on the lookout for whether the activities run afoul of election laws that prohibit coordination between the groups and the campaigns.

Citing changes to the rules that make it easier for outside groups to advertise right up to Election Day, political advertising analysts predicted that the new efforts would be the start of a crescendo of attacks.

“I think in the next two weeks you are going to see a lot more of these coming out of the woodwork,” said Evan Tracey, chief operating officer of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which monitors expenditures on advertising. “They want to get messages out there that are the most disruptive politically, and the closer you are to Election Day the more disruptive you are by definition.”

Mr. Tracey said he doubted that the efforts, many of them at their nascent stages, would come anywhere near matching the level of activity in 2004. So far this year, the outside groups have spent roughly a tenth of the $75 million that their predecessors had at this point four years ago on television advertising. Then, most flocked to help the campaign of the Democratic nominee that year, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, when it was short of cash.

The leaders of the groups say their donors and members have stepped up their efforts because polls suggest the race has gotten closer and become increasingly dominated by harsh exchanges between the campaigns.

Eli Pariser, the executive director of MoveOn, said he decided to step up the group’s advertising plans after donations rose significantly when Mr. McCain decided to pick as his running mate Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, a social conservative whose addition to the ticket gave Mr. McCain a boost in several public polls.

“We’re just following our members’ mandate,” Mr. Pariser said.

MoveOn’s membership has grown to 4.2 million from 3.2 million in the past year, largely because of the popularity of Mr. Obama’s candidacy. The group is also planning to spend $4 million on voter registration efforts in swing states, focusing on young voters.

Other Democratic strategists said that donors’ fears about how the Obama campaign might react to an independent media effort had faded amid what they believed to be more encouraging signals from Obama officials, as well as a growing sense of urgency as the race has tightened.

Steve Phillips, the president of PowerPAC.org, an independent group that supported Mr. Obama in the Democratic primary, said it was moving ahead with plans for a $10 million effort focused on turning out black and Latino voters. Mr. Phillips is also talking to others about an outside media effort that attacks Mr. McCain.

“There is another set of conversations going on about advertising — and around hard-hitting advertising, frankly,” he said. “A lot of people want to hit back hard.”

Mike Lux, a Democratic political consultant, and Stan Greenberg, a Democratic pollster, are leading another set of discussions on the left about supporting an outside effort. The pair convened a conference call last week for potential donors to discuss where they might funnel their money, specifically encouraging a focus on older white women.

Similar activity continues on the right, with new donors like Raymond Ruddy — a former supporter of Mitt Romney, who sought the Republican nomination this year — kicking in $350,000 for the advertisement against Mr. Obama on abortion by BornAliveTruth.org.

One of the largest groups, American Issues Project, received its initial $2.8 million from the financier Harold Simmons, who, aside from raising tens of thousands of dollars for Mr. McCain, also financed the anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

The group’s president, Ed Martin, said that donations continued to come in and that his group was weighing its options as it contemplated its final moves.

“Certainly there’s going to be a lot of action down the stretch, and we want to be part of it,” Mr. Martin said. “It’s not like the election isn’t close.”

Jim Rutenberg reported from Washington, and Michael Luo from New York.

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Obama Waffles Leave Bad Taste

Group pushes for more detail on McCain's healthBoston Globe - United StatesMoveOn.org became the latest today, calling on McCain to release all his medical records. McCain, who turned 72 on the day he introduced Palin as his ...See all stories on this topic

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The Biggest Scandal of McCain's Career is Relevant TodayBy Steve Benen, Washington MonthlyIt is time to talk about the Keating Five scandal. Read more

Wake Up America

ARM: American Fascism


The parallels between Bush and Hitler are obvious and impossible to deny despite the whining of the right wing lunatic fringe (Fox News.) Hitler engaged in intimidation and fraud to "win" elections Hitler's office had an "open door" policy for any corporate criminal who was willing to support him financially Hitler used fabricated evidence to justify attacking and occupying other countries Hitler looted the wealth of other countries, German government resources and German citizens to finance his operations.

Hitler manufactured terrorist threats and used these threats to rationalize the development of a police state including the loss of fundamental citizen rights and the build of a vast interment camps. And on and on it goes. There's a reason these similarities between Bush and Hitler that go far beyond the predictable patterns of human psychopathology...The Bush family had a long and deep involvement with the Nazi movement. Since then, the Bush family has surrounded itself with allies, advisers and agents who emulate Nazi values.

McCain: Worse than you think

George Carlin Would Be In Trouble With Sarah palin

The Tina Fey Sarah Palin SNL Parody Video Has Become A Two-Fold Technical Problem; (1) It is Being Pulled At Several Sources, and (2) The NBC Video Codec/Scripting Format Is Not Working For Many. To Combat the Later Issue The following Links Have Been Added.

On To The Field And Let’s Have At It! John McCain Has Set The Rules And He Will Regret It!